AMC TV App for Windows Tablet
The AMC TV network commissioned UI Centric to design and develop a Windows tablet app as part of a broader redesign of their website and iOS and Android apps. The app was to serve as both a content discovery platform as well as a content delivery platform, where users could stream recent episodes of popular AMC shows like The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. The overall look of the app was to mirror the photo-centric aspects of the redesign on other platforms. Additionally, the app still needed to align with the conventions of Windows 8 tablet apps, such as being used on tablets in landscape orientation and employing horizontal rather than vertical scrolling.
One of the challenging aspects about designing for the Windows tablet platform is that the OS convention was for the tablet to be used in landscape mode with content scrolling side to side.
The starting point of the experience is a card-based homepage, featuring hero images from AMC’s major, current shows. Selecting one of these cards takes the user to a show detail page. By default, the show page is set to show the current or most recent season, but users can use the season drop down to select a different season and explore episodes from that season. The hero image is tied to the selected season and will change if the user changes the highlighted season. A list of episode cards from the season occupies the rest of the show page as the user scrolls right.
In addition to viewing and exploring seasons and episodes of AMC's hit shows on this screen, users can also set alerts to get a notification when a new episode of a show is airing.
Selecting one of the episode cards takes users to an episode detail page. If the episode in question is available to view, a video player takes center stage on the screen while the episode summary occupies the right rail. If playback is not available, a thumbnail from the episode occupies the left rail, while the episode summary takes on more prominence. These layout differences help create further visual differentiation between episodes that can and cannot be watched in full, rather than just relying on more subtle UI cues like the absence or presence of a play button on the episode hero image. Since users will typically prefer to have the full episode available for playback, it’s important to set a clear expectation for users as soon as the page loads. Both types of episode cards also feature behind the scenes videos and short episode clips to engage the users with additional content.
When an episode is available for playback the video player assumes the hero content role and a banner calls out that the full episode is available, while a counter below the episode description specifies how many more days the video will be available.
When an episode is not available for playback the hero image is reduced to a small thumbnail to make it quite clear that it is not the video player, while a prominent buy now button is added to allow the user to find and buy the episode.
Additionally, the app features a watch history section that shows users the last ten videos they have watched. From the recently watched cards, users can continue watching videos that were not finished from the point they left off watching or begin watching the video again from the start.
The strength and weakness of the watchlist is that it requires users to be signed in to the app to track their watch history rather than locally storing a watch history. However, this also facilitates easy cross-device viewing.